Friday, December 05, 2014

The Inquisition: 026.Downfall Of Gaia

1. How did you came up with the name of the band?

Dominik: In Greek mythology 'Gaia' is known as mother earth. Besides the beautiful sounding of the word/name it made total sense to add this one to our bandname. Of course we wanted to have a name that makes sense and fits to our music. So we started to brainstorm. Just like any other band does. If I remember things right I walked in one day into our rehearsal room and Anton and Tim (our first drummer) looked at me and said "listen man - what do you think about this name?!"Downfall of Gaia describes in a very good way what this band, the lyrics and the atmopshere is about.

2. Do you have a standard procedure of creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main riff and the track is build up on it?

Mike: On our most recent record, “Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay,” the two guitarists (Peter and Dominik) worked on creating song skeletons on their own. They had 2-3 songs each already arranged and presented the riffs to the rest of the band. Toni and I would then work on our parts and the songs would start to fill out more. We demoed all the new songs and listened to them for a month before we got back together and re-arranged a bunch of sections, added and deleted certain parts, and finally added lyrics on top of everything.
Dominik: Yeah – that's usually how we do it. Peter and me are preparing some stuff at home before the 4 of us get together. Every record we did till today started like that. Of course we did the same for 'Aeon...' . Just like Mike said.

3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home?

Mike: Right now I am listening to a lot of Altar of Plagues, Hope Drone (AUS), Torch Runner, Oathbreaker, Alaskan, Bereft, Hexis, Implore, and Dragged Into Sunlight. Also, I went to university for Jazz Performance, so I listen to a lot of jazz as well, such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Roy Haynes, Tony Williams Lifetime, and more recently, Mark Guiliana and his various projects (Beat Music / Heernt / Mehliana.)
Dominik: When it comes to Downfall of Gaia I would say our sound is driven by doom, sludge and black metal. Besides that I would say all of us are pretty open minded when it comes to music. As long as it's good it can be any genre. Personally when I'm hanging around at home I'm listening a lot to The Devil's Blood, Agalloch, Tribulation, Thulcandra, In Solitude, The Essence, The Estranged.

4. Which is the one album you can't live without?

Mike: Dillinger Escape Plan - Calculating Infinity
Dominik: Agalloch – Marrow of the Spirit

5. What's the first record you've ever bought?

Mike: Oddly enough, I bought Mastodon's Crack The Skye on a whim, and now I’m obsessed with vinyl.
Dominik: I have to admit it was Green Day's 'Dookie' in 1994. I was 10 years old and this was my first record ever.

6. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with?

Mike: Converge or the Dillinger Escape Plan.
Dominik: Neurosis or Agalloch.

7. Did the internet and specially the blogs helped to spread your music around the world? Name a place (country) that you were surprised to know your music has reached to?

Mike: Blogs definitely helped spread our music. The weirdest and most exciting place I shipped a record was Japan. I am always surprised how much support we get from around the world, it’s truly humbling.

8. Do you support the idea of bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like spotify?

Mike: I love bandcamp. I’m not a big Spotify user though. Honestly, I really enjoy when a band posts their record for “pay what you want.” Most of the time, I’ll download it for free so I can listen to it on all my devices, and if I love it I’ll order the vinyl.

9. Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

Mike: Doing the same thing I am doing now. Writing records with Downfall Of Gaia and Black Table. And touring as often as possible.
Dominik: I really don't know. I never was that kind of guy who planned a lot and knew what would come up next. I never did things that way. So I absolutely got no idea.

10. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era?

Mike: I think the artwork is even more important now in the digital age. You can now listen to bands from all over the world, right from your computer chair. So I think it’s very important for bands to do something to separate themselves from the clutter of the internet marketplace. Aside from writing great music, a band needs to have interesting artwork, live show, and merch.
Dominik: The visual aspect often goes hand in hand with the music. I really dig it when bands create 'more than just music'. When lyrics, music, artwork, liveshow becomes a whole and a true form of art.

11. What is your favorite album cover?

Mike: I have this gorgeous split from Alaskan and Co-Pilot. The cover is a photograph of a snow covered field and forest with grey skies. I think the photograph reflects the music on the split perfectly. Dark, desolate, and beautiful at the same time.

Dominik: Cough – Ritual Abuse.

12. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format?

Mike: I think the resurgence of vinyl is a natural social response to the diminishing value of music. The average consumer is now accustomed to music being free. However, I think musicians and music lovers have found value in vinyl records. The artwork is bigger, the sound quality is better, and it’s also more involved. You have to flip the record over, which means listening to music is becoming an activity again, as opposed to pushing play on a Spotify playlist and having it as “background noise". My preferred media format is definitely vinyl. The only time I would buy a CD or cassette is if I see a touring band at a show, and they don’t have any vinyl for sale. Otherwise, I always opt to grab the record.

13. What's the most vivid story or moment as a band?

Mike: My most vivid memory with Downfall Of Gaia is when we played last years Hellfest Open Air Festival in June of 2014. It was by far the biggest show I’ve ever played, with a crowd of 8000 people watching us, and we had a great time. There was a crew that set up my drums on a rolling riser on the side of the stage. Then when we were up, they rolled it out, plugged in the mics and we hit the stage. We had passes to hang out the entire weekend, so we got see some truly amazing and legendary bands from the side of the stage, including Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Slayer.
Dominik: Yeah. Definitely Hellfest. This one was something special. Besides that we played a lot of other cool stuff in the past. Amplifest in Portugal was ace. Truly the nicest people ever took care of us and besides that the line up of the fest was just amazing! Also our first show ever in the states a few years ago. We played Boston and we totally sucked! But we were happy to be there!

More info:

Downfall Of Gaia are touring the US in January/February 2015:

01/23 | Philadelphia, PA - Kungfu Necktie
01/24 | Wilmington, DE - Mojo 13
01/25 | Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery
01/26 | Washington DC - DC9
01/27 | Richmond, VA - Strange Matter
01/28 | Atlanta, GA - 52901/29 | Orlando, FL - Will's Pub
01/30 | Miami, FL - Churchill's
01/31 | St Petersburgh, FL - Fubar
02/01 | Pensacola, FL - The Handlebar
02/03 | Austin, TX - Dirty Dog
02/04 | Dallas, TX - Double Wide
02/05 | St Louis, MO - Fubar
02/06 | Chicago, IL - Red Line Tap
02/07 | Madison, WI - The Wisco
02/08 | Cleveland, OH - Now That's Class
02/09 | Pittsburgh, PA - The Shop
02/10 | Burlington, VT - The Monkey House
02/12 | Boston, MA - TBA
02/13 | New York, NY - Saint Vitus

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